Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been stellar in the ECHL. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks recall Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from ECHL

The Rochester Americans, who have allowed 18 goals over a four-game losing streak, recalled top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from the ECHL this morning.

Amerks general manager Randy Sexton recently said Luukkonen, 20, would play games with Rochester during the second half of the season. So despite the Amerks’ struggles, this could be part of the Sabres’ original plan for Luukkonen.

Update: Sexton told The Buffalo News that Luukkonen will spent a week ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been tough to beat as a rookie. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Top Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named ECHL All-Star

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named an ECHL All-Star with the Cincinnati Cyclones, the league announced today.

The Finnish rookie has been stellar for the Cyclones, compiling an 11-4-3-2 record with a 2.09 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage and three shutouts in 18 games.

The Sabres sent Luukkonen, a second-round pick in 2017, 54th overall, to the Cylones in November after he recovered from surgery on his hips.... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald turned pro late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald showcases speed, fighting skills

BUFFALO – After watching his son, Casey, unleash some wild haymakers Monday afternoon, Tom Fitzgerald congratulated the Sabres prospect on his first pro fight.

“He just said, ‘Good scrap, you didn’t get that from me, you got that from your mother,’” Casey Fitzgerald said of his father, who played 1,097 NHL games. “I got a good laugh from that. It was good to see him after, have him here.”

Tom Fitzgerald fought just seven times ... Read the full article

Anaheim drafted Kyle Olson in 2017. ©2019, Hickling Images

Invite Kyle Olson impressing Sabres at Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Kyle Olson started turning heads on his first shift, scoring just 30 seconds into Friday’s Prospects Challenge opener.

The quick goal turned out to be a harbinger for the rookie camp invite.

Olson, 20, has looked impressive throughout the Sabres’ two wins, showcasing his speed, tenacity and versatility.

“He’s smart, he’s skilled, he thinks the game very well, so he’s able to play with skilled players,” Sabres assistant general manager Randy ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen underwent hip surgery in April. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s recovery ‘right on track’

BUFFALO – Top Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is “right on track” in his recovery from hip surgery, assistant general manager Randy Sexton said.

“He’s making great progress,” Sexton said prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.

Still, Luukkonen will miss training camp. When the Finn underwent surgery in April, the Sabres said he would make a full recovery in six months.

They intend on sticking ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Brett Murray in the fourth round in 2016. ©2019, Hickling Images

Prospect Brett Murray’s commitment to conditioning impresses Sabres

BUFFALO – Not long ago, the Sabres made a deal with Brett Murray, a prospect whose commitment to conditioning wasn’t up to pro standards.

“What we told him was, ‘Look, you have to make the commitment. If you make a commitment and we see it in development camp, we’ll bring you to the rookie tournament,’” Sabres assistant general manager Randy Sexton said prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins inside Harborcenter.

The ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar has spent most of his pro career in the NHL. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others for depth

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie shortly after free agency opened Monday, signing veteran Andrew Hammond.

Hammond, whose one-year, one-way deal is worth $700,000, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15 and earning “The Hamburglar” nickname.

Overall, Hammond, 31, has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts ... Read the full article

Andrew Hammond enjoyed an amazing rookie season with Ottawa in 2014-15. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres add depth, sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie today, signing veteran Andrew Hammond to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Hammond, 31, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15.

Overall, Hammond has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts in 56 career NHL outings.

Hammond spent last season with the Iowa ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor plans to soak up knowledge from the Sabres' new coaching staff. ©2019, Hickling Images

Chris Taylor happy with Amerks, likes Sabres’ hire of Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – To many observers, Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor possesses the talent to run an NHL bench someday.

Not only have the Amerks enjoyed two successful seasons under the affable Taylor, players seem to love playing for him.

Not surprisingly, Taylor’s name came up during the Sabres’ search for Phil Housley’s replacement. Taylor, of course, has close ties to general manager Jason Botterill, his friend and former teammate.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor has coached Rochester two seasons. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Coach Chris Taylor will likely stay put with Amerks

BUFFALO – When the Sabres began their coaching search last month, general manager Jason Botterill and his assistants, Steve Greeley and Randy Sexton, talked a lot about pursuing experienced NHL candidates.

“But we also wanted to make sure we opened it up,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres announced Ralph Krueger as their new coach. “Through this process it wasn’t always out in the media, but we looked at a lot of ... Read the full article